Changes in glutathione metabolic enzymes during yeast-to-mycelium conversion of Candida albicans

Merlin Manavathu, Suresh Gunasekaran, Quallyna Porte, Elias Manavathu, Muthukumaran Gunasekaran

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Candida albicans is a dimorphic yeast capable of producing alternate morphological forms (yeast or mycelium) in response to environmental changes. The intracellular level of glutathione, which helps to maintain the redox potential of the cell, is decreased significantly during the thermal induction of yeast-to-mycelium conversion. The reason for the decline of glutathione in the mycelial form is not understood. We have, therefore, investigated the levels of glutathione reductase, glutathione S-transferase, γ-glutamyltranspeptidase, and glutathione peroxidase, four key enzymes involved in glutathione metabolism, in the yeast and mycelial forms. Yeast cells of C. albicans 3153A were induced in Lee's medium (pH 6.5) at 37°C for 3 h to produce germ tubes. Cell lysates were prepared from yeast and mycelial cells, and glutathione reductase, glutathione S-transferase, γ-glutamyltranspeptidase, and glutathione peroxidase were assayed spectrophotometrically. There was a 640% increase of the level of γ-glutamyltranspeptidase in the germ tubes as compared with the yeast cells. No other significant alteration of the levels of enzymes was noted. This increased activity of γ-glutamyltranspeptidase, which cleaves the glutamic acid residue of glutathione (Glu-Cys-Gly) appears to be, at least in part, responsible for the rapid decrease of the intracellular glutathione in C. albicans during the yeast-to-mycelium conversion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-79
Number of pages4
JournalCanadian Journal of Microbiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996



  • Candica albicans
  • Dimorphism
  • Glutathione
  • Glutathione peroxidase
  • Glutathione reductase
  • γ-Glutamyltranspeptidase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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